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Pistol caliber carbines for self defense?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rd99, Jan 8, 2007.

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  1. rd99

    rd99 Member

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    Pistol caliber carbines for home defense?

    I'm a fan of pistol caliber carbines--mainly for plinkng and target shooting.

    But I've been reading a lot of stuff on the internet arguing that pistol caliber carbines are good for home defense because:
    - they are very accurate out to 50 yards
    - don't have the over-penetration problems of rifles calibers and shotguns
    - carbines usually provide more performance than a pistol of the same caliber
    - you can hang lights and lasers off them more easily than a pistol
    - a sling frees the users hands - a pistol is either in your hand or in a holster
    - carbines can be easier to shoot well than a pistol especially for people who don't practice a lot.

    Does this make sense?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  2. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Maybe but:
    - they are very accurate out to 50 yards
    50 yard or more and you'll have a hard time arguing to the prosecuting attourney it was self defense
    - usually provide more performance than a pistol of the same caliber
    Pistol caliber rounds are optimized for pistol length barrels. They may offer a few more fps but it shouldn't affect performance
    - you can hang lights and lasers off them more easily than a pistol
    That's very important if you are a mall ninja
    - a sling frees the users hands - a pistol is either in your hand or in a holster
    True, but you shouldn't take your hands off your weapon in a serious situation
    - carbines can be easier to shoot well than a pistol especially for people who don't practice a lot.
    That's true but there's also the argument that it makes it easier for the BG to take the gun away from you (if you get that close, which hopefully you won't) especially if you don't have the upper body strength to retain it. you also can't really fire from retention.

    Not trying to be argumentitive, just my thoughts.
     
  3. miko

    miko Member

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    Yes. A Marlin 1894 Lever in .357 Mag/38Sp is a great carbine - gives you more energy at 100 yards than from a revolver at the muzzle. Such is the potential of this great cartrige.

    miko
     
  4. jagdpanzer347

    jagdpanzer347 Member

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    RD99, welcome to THR. I personally prefer handguns and shotguns for home defense. HOWEVER, if you have a reliable pistol caliber carbine that you are comfortable with, I feel you are well armed. Go with what works for you.

    -jagd
     
  5. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Actually if you do a quick search we have had several long drawn out debates on this in the past couple of months. Bottom line, they work well, but some people don't like them.
     
  6. rd99

    rd99 Member

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    Perhaps, but......

    - they are very accurate out to 50 yards
    50 yard or more and you'll have a hard time arguing to the prosecuting attourney it was self defense
    Operative words "out to" - a lot less to argue about if you shoot a BG in your house

    - usually provide more performance than a pistol of the same caliber
    Pistol caliber rounds are optimized for pistol length barrels. They may offer a few more fps but it shouldn't affect performance
    I'll take a few more fps whenever I can get them

    - you can hang lights and lasers off them more easily than a pistol
    That's very important if you are a mall ninja
    Interesting statement--Maybe you should inform special ops teams, SWAT teams, and military and other special operators (who all seem to use lights and/or lasers these days) that they are "mall ninjas".
    Plus, a "prosecuting attourney" would love to hear you say that you shot someone without being able to see who it was.


    - a sling frees the users hands - a pistol is either in your hand or in a holster
    True, but you shouldn't take your hands off your weapon in a serious situation
    Except maybe to use a cell phone--Like when the cops are coming in the door and you'd like them to know where you are, where your family is, and where the BG is

    - carbines can be easier to shoot well than a pistol especially for people who don't practice a lot.
    That's true but there's also the argument that it makes it easier for the BG to take the gun away from you (if you get that close, which hopefully you won't) especially if you don't have the upper body strength to retain it. you also can't really fire from retention.
    If a carbine is "easier to shoot" doesn't it logically follow that it would be easier to put a bullet into whoever is trying to "take the gun away from you"
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2007
  7. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    That was one of the main reasons the US military adopted the M1 Carbine. So many troops couldn't qualify with the pistol and it was far easier to handle, aim and use effectively. It gives you a better sight distance too over a pistol and so more accurate to hit the target.

    Pistol calibre carbines are generally short and handy little buggers that do the job they are designed for and pretty much a rival of the much more expensive submachine guns.
     
  8. Rugerdaddy

    Rugerdaddy Member

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    Ruger Carbines

    I really like Ruger's carbines- the 9mm and the SW .40. I'm thinking of buying a 9MM. However, I think I will still grab my pistol (P90) first if needed for self defense. :)
     
  9. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    An AR or any other carbine in a rifle caliber (hell, even a .30 carbine) is much better than an pistol caliber carbine. If you're serious about self defense, get a defensive carbine in .223 or something.

    There's a good reason why LE agencies like the FBI are dumping the MP5's and stuff for AR-15's.
     
  10. Srigs

    Srigs Member

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    My wife does not like to shoot handguns but love the 9mm carbine and is a dam good shot with it. This is a very good reason. It is her go to gun.

    My 40 carbine I like and I'm a dam good shot with it. Is it my must have gun by the bed? No my 40 handgun with the light is.

    If it works for you use one and if not don't. :cool:
     
  11. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    I agree that it MAY not be the ideal gun for HD BUT, I can easily argue FOR one as well.

    I have a large house, and we have 4 HD guns (2 upstairs/2 down, and front and back.) One of the more accessible (front hall closet) is a Hi-Point 9mm Carbine.

    Reasons being:

    - I don't like to keep a "fully loaded" gun around---Can slap a mag in and be ready to go in a split second.

    - Both my kids have shot it extensively, and are very comfortable (and accurate) with it.

    - We live in a semi-rural area, and sometimes have to go check out things that go bump in the night, outside, where some extra range might be important (usually talking wild animals, not humans). We send a dog out first to investigate. But if it were a BG, we have better range(and accuracy), if need be. (But ONLY if we HAVE to shoot).

    -It can handle +P+ rounds (I keep the mag loaded with +P+ Black Talons, which offer a SIGNIFICANT velocity increase over a short barreled handgun---like 400+ fps.

    -No lights or fancy stuff, though, that just makes you a good target.

    Personally I'd prefer to get to the shotgun, but with the carbine, I wouldn't feel "undergunned".

    P.S. I don't get the whole thing about the BG disarming you, if you have a long gun...Can't envision a REALISTIC scenario where you'd ever be that close(unless you're really dumb---no offence). And, for that matter, my little carbine isn't much bigger than alot of handguns.
     
  12. Ranger J

    Ranger J Member

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    I love my 1894s in .357 and .44 and my .44 Ruger Deerfield but it is a 12G Mossberg pump loaded with birdshot and slugs that sets next to my bed. I would not feel undergunned, especially with the Deerfield, but as I have a choice…:)
    RJ
     
  13. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    A .30-30 carbine loaded with 125 gr JHPs wouldn't be a terrible choice, either. I think Federal makes that load, but I'm not sure.
     
  14. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    If the question is "Can a pistol caliber carbine be an effective self defense weapon?" then I would have to answer yes. If the question is "Is a pistol caliber carbine the best self defense weapon for most people?" I might be a little more qualified in my response.
     
  15. Speer

    Speer Member

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    I'd recommend a carbine, sure. In fact, having a carbine and pistol share the ammo has its advantages.
     
  16. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    My pistol caliber carbine is a Henry Big Boy in .45 long Colt.

    No lights or lasers. Admittedly, I do find the sight picture on those buckhorns a tad confusing.
     
  17. blackhawk2000

    blackhawk2000 member

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    - they are very accurate out to 50 yards
    50 yard or more and you'll have a hard time arguing to the prosecuting attourney it was self defense

    I'd rather take a head shot on a BG with a hostage with a long gun.

    - usually provide more performance than a pistol of the same caliber
    Pistol caliber rounds are optimized for pistol length barrels. They may offer a few more fps but it shouldn't affect performance

    More FPS is always good.

    - you can hang lights and lasers off them more easily than a pistol
    That's very important if you are a mall ninja

    Every defensive gun should have a flash light on it. Lasers work pretty well in the dark too.

    - a sling frees the users hands - a pistol is either in your hand or in a holster
    True, but you shouldn't take your hands off your weapon in a serious situation

    Sometimes you have to take your hand/s off the gun.

    - carbines can be easier to shoot well than a pistol especially for people who don't practice a lot.
    That's true but there's also the argument that it makes it easier for the BG to take the gun away from you (if you get that close, which hopefully you won't) especially if you don't have the upper body strength to retain it. you also can't really fire from retention.

    The long gun is easier to retain in a gun grab situation.
     
  18. Levercaster

    Levercaster Member

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    Hi, RD99!

    I have a Marllin 1894C in 38/357. It's "most accurate" factory round is Remington UMC, 38 Special 125 gr SJHP +P ammo. It will put three shots into .66" @ 25 yards. At that range, it penetrates 10 inches of newspaper, doubles in diameter, mushrooms perfectly down to the crimp groove and the lead core does not separate. It is my home defense round and adequate for taking on BGs. I "guesstemate" that the muzzle velocity is ~1500 FPS from the carbine. The 38 special is quieter from the carbine than from a revolver. There is no muzzle flash. A 44 mag may over penetrate. It is economical to shoot and that allows me to shoot it a lot, gaining familiarity and confidence. Even a small person would find it quite manageable. I give it a thumbs up but, I admit to being biased because I own it. =)

    Best regards,

    Levercaster
     
  19. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    No it's very important if you are using a firearm to defend your home.

    A light is pretty much required and it is certainly easier to mount on a rifle than a handgun.

    If you think that a light is the tool of mall ninjas you have much to learn.

    He said lights and lasers, not optics and night vision.

    Both are absolutely solid tools for a self defense weapon.
     
  20. Kurac

    Kurac Member

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    So, I can only speak for myself here but I would much rather have say an M1 Carbine with a 30 Magazine, MP5 or a Thompson with a 30 round sick or 50 round drum than any handgun I can think of. If someone is attacking you, then need to be driven off with overwhelming firepower to ensure that you are the victor. If you have barely enough to get the job done, it may infact end up not being enough.

    Like I always say, if you are going to do it, do it right so you don't have to do it again.
     
  21. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    Not if the target was already shooting at you.

    The purpose of a pistol caliber carbine is to have a companion to your sidearm that's compact but can reach out longer than your pistol can without having to pack different mags and ammo.
     
  22. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    True if we're using "pistol" in the narrow sense -- i.e., self-loader cartridges. Typical 9mm and .40 S&W get a bit of a boost from a carbine length barrel. .45 ACP, not much.

    But magnum revolver cartridges, with their bulky charges of slow powder, really go to town in carbines. 500 to 600 fps increases are quite common.

    Choose something like Buffalo Bore .357 Magnum and you can get a 180 gr slug moving @ 1850 fps from a handy little Marlin 1894C. It's accurate, and recoil is modest. Now you're in true "in between" ballistic territory -- not a match for a rifle round, but more oomph than any defensive handgun (or any semi-auto pistol caliber carbine).

    That said, I'm told you can handload 9mm+P with slow powders like Blue Dot to get an improved ballistic jump from 9mm carbines.

    What somebody should really make is a light sturdy carbine in .357 SIG that takes 15-round Glock magazines. I'd buy one. It'd be like a semi-auto Marlin 1894C, or a 21st-century M1 Carbine.
     
  23. rustymaggot

    rustymaggot Member

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    if your carrying all the weight and size around, might as well go up to a rifle cartridge.

    i like my m1 carbine. its a happy medium. good pistol cartridge in a small rifle. and the terminal ballistics are pretty good with softpoints.
     
  24. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    rd, makes a great deal of sense. If you want you, then go ahead, but never forget that in self-defense, exact weapon matters little, you matter a lot.

    Focus should always be on software, not hardware.:)
     
  25. B.D. Turner

    B.D. Turner Member

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    My pistol is a five shot .38 my rifle is an 11 shot Marlin .44 magnum. If someone is here to harm my family I would rather have the carbine anytime.
     
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